MEII in PALESTINE
First, under the Loan Guarantee Program, MEII runs different guarantee facilities worth a total of USD $129 million to encourage banks and other Financial Institutions (FIs) to adapt lending culture to a cash flow based system, rather than collateral based one. Second, the Technical Assistance Program and Matchmaking Platform helps SMEs, which play a major role in their country’s economic stability, understand the importance of their financial transparency and develop their financial management and bookkeeping and understand how it affects their ability to grow and expand. Additionally, an innovative web-based Matchmaking Platform helps these SMEs interact and link with Financial Institutions (FIs) by representing their data through this platform. This matchmaking technology offers SMEs the opportunity to make the best deals based on their needs and abilities while offering FIs strong potential pipelines and opportunities for engagement.
Small and Medium Enterprises in PALESTINE
SMEs are integral to the Palestinian economy and make up the vast majority of Palestinian enterprises. They serve as a primary source of employment, attract investments and are central to efforts for increasing economic prosperity. 99% of economic enterprises in the occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are SMEs, (with less than 20 employees) as of 2010. Most of these are conventional in nature, that operates in light industries, primary consumption goods production, (mainly food products, clothing, non – metallic products, and furniture).
In spite of the Palestinian National Authority’s (PNA) active support for an attractive business environment in the WBGS, there has been little or no attention given to supporting MSMEs and their activities. MSMEs have consequently been facing numerous obstacles to their development, especially: the absence of a law that acknowledges their existence or defines their status, absence of a legal framework for operations, limited benefit and use of PNA policies intended to enhance investments and support businesses, lack of information regarding MSMEs and finally and most importantly, limited financing opportunities although the financing needs of Palestinian SMEs over the short and medium term are substantial.
As for credit penetration and access, the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013 ranked the West Bank and Gaza 162 out of 185 countries. It is lower than the regional average of 128.
MEII is making a big difference in Palestine, mostly in WBGS, through several programs it runs and manages there, especially regarding facilitating access to credit for SME’s and providing needed Technical Assistance. More insights of MEII’s work and accomplishments in Palestine can be found on the website mainly under Expertise and Impacts.
MEII also has an internship program in Palestine for qualified and hard working accounting students. This program matches university students or recent graduates with SMEs who require accounting and financial technical assistance. In return, our interns are provided with real-life experience. In some cases, our interns are offered a post-internship employment opportunity with MEII’s SME clients.
To read a summary of our internship program click here.
To learn more about the training timeline and other specific information about our internship program click here.